The Week Unwrapped: Psychedelics, peacekeeping and office productivity

Could hallucinogenics replace antidepressants? How can peacekeepers be more effective? And what can Google tell us about the post-pandemic workplace?

The effect of LSD on the brain
(Image credit: SpaceX)

Olly Mann and The Week delve behind the headlines and debate what really matters from the past seven days.

In this week’s episode, we discuss:

Psychedelics

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Interest in psychedelics has hit a new high as researchers and investors explore the therapeutic uses of hallucinogens. So will the next generation of treatments for conditions including depression and addiction blow our minds? Or could the potential risks and legal complications prove too much of a downer?

Peacekeeping

In her new book, The Frontlines of Peace, researcher and self-described “peacebuilder” Severine Autesserre proposes a whole new approach to preventing wars. Instead of trying to solve conflict from the top down, she says aid workers and UN peacekeepers must throw away their current practices wholesale and engage in “bottom-up peacebuilding”.

Office life

Google’s sofa-and-beanbag-strewn offices have come to define the forward-looking office space, but the company now seems to be setting off in a new direction. When offices begin to open after the pandemic, there will be less space for table football and socialising - but more outdoor work spaces, flexible meeting rooms and robotic dividing walls that can give hot-desking workers privacy and a sense of safety. Will other companies follow suit.

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